Originally released in 1974, Radio City is the second album from Big Star, a critically acclaimed, Memphis-based band which is often credited with creating the power pop sound. The band formed in 1971 by the late Alex Chilton and the late Chris Bell with drummer Jody Stephens and bassist the late Andy Hummel featured Beatle-esque/British Invasion influenced songwriting and jangly rhythm guitar saturated arrangements of often wistful, melancholic songs.
Though not a commercial success at the time it was released, Radio City is now recognized as a milestone album in the history of power pop music. Critically acclaimed upon its release, the record sold poorly, partly due to a lack of promotion and the distribution problems of the band’s struggling record label, Ardent Records. The album included “September Gurls” and “Back of a Car”, which remain among the most famous Big Star songs; both the Searchers and the Bangles have covered “September Gurls.”
Radio City’s reputation has grown since its release, with many critics and listeners of the opinion that it is not only the definitive power pop album but one of the finest rock-music albums. As writer Richard Meltzer told an interviewer, “Big Star…is the means through which most bands today who are influenced by the Beatles get their dose of the British Invasion.”